Should you keep running your business?

At some point along any path, most people start to wonder if they’re doing the right thing. It’s not exclusively about morality. People may start having second thoughts about their businesses and financial future.

If you’re a business owner who is struggling with this question in relation to their company, don’t worry too much. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last. Running a business affects every facet of your life, so it’s only natural for you to wonder about alternatives.

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Photo via Visual Hunt

If you’re currently faced with this conundrum, read this guide. It may help you make some decisions.

Why are you have second thoughts?

You should first pinpoint what exactly it is that is making you think about leaving your business. Running your own business can be an extremely stressful job. As the boss, you are responsible for every employee in the company. The reputation of your business becomes your own reputation. Even though you’re the boss of the company, it can sometimes feel like the company is the boss of you.

Perhaps your business is having financial difficulty. Profits aren’t as high as you were expecting and your overhead costs only seem to be growing. Or maybe it’s a simple case of not feeling passionate about the product of service anymore.

Remember the sunk cost fallacy

Many people in this position will throw away their seconds thoughts and remain the owners of their business. This is fine, depending on their reasons. A common reason is that people feel they’ve spent too much time, energy and money on their business decisions to walk away from them now.

This can be an okay reason. But you need to weigh it up against your overall happiness. Making a decision based on time and money you’ve spent prior to the decision is sometimes called the sunk cost fallacy. The ‘sunk cost’ refers to the fact that what you’ve spent cannot be retrieved. The ‘fallacy’ refers to the fact that it’s irrational to allow a ‘sunk cost’ to dictate a decision. If keeping the business could be detrimental to your health or future finances, don’t let sunk costs keep you from fixing that.

Consider your options carefully

If you’re feeling stressed and burned out then your best bet is to take a vacation. Many business owners balk at the idea of taking a vacation. But that mentality is possibly what put you in this position in the first place! Think about it like this: if the alternative is you leaving the company altogether, then some time off doesn’t matter in the long run!

Time off will help you assess your options. Of course, your decision may lean on more financial matters. In which case, you should be informed of the worth of your company. Get advice from business brokers to find out what your company is worth. Selling it could well be a smart financial decision!

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Get a succession plan in order

If these feelings pass, or merely abate, you should get prepared for a possible recurrence in the future. You should be looking for ideal candidates within your company to become either interim owners or complete owners. A strong succession plan will help put you in a more stable position if you ever do feel like leaving the company in the future.

Whatever you do, make sure you think about it very carefully first. Think about what’s right for you.

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